Play Video


(the messapian population’s saga)
(The heirs of the Messapians)


This first novel of the saga, referable to the time of the Second World War, is set in the rural areas of the mount Pollino’s Lucanian slopes and in the Sarmentum valley. It narrates the sufferings of those who pray for their relatives, who fight at the war front while fighting their own war for survival against the forces of nature and, often, against the thumb down of local power. It describes the vicissitudes through which Angela meets and marries Gaetano, the separating lacerations of war and the invisible ones of the heart, the dangers hidden in the sunrises and sunsets of the most starry sky in the world, the risks and the arcane of dense mysteries. It is a novel of eternal values and tragic passions but also of perceptions connected with other lives – other times in the same places. It is the song of life and death and of an all-Mediterranean legacy of the fatal resignation of the peasant who feels like an “egg among the stones” and who becomes the symbol of a South on his knees. It is also a monument to the irreversible and grandiose epochal turning points of the post-war period, which overwhelmed humble and extraordinary characters such as Angela and Gaetano and, at the same time, counted them among its unstoppable leavening ferments. It is many, many things that cannot be summarized in a few lines, but, first and foremost and without any doubt, it is a monument to the unfathomable abysses of love that escapes the human being and yet imbues his every cell and every breath. Meanwhile, the reader is devoured by an anxious curiosity. Paradoxical threats creep in the shadows. Will Angela be saved? Who will pay tribute to the insidious dangers hidden in the solemn snow of a windy night and who will escape the unchallenged ferocity that knows how to lurk in the bowels of nature? Who will see spring return and hear the cuckoo song again? Shall Angela and her loved ones resist the “sharp north wind” of nature and of life, cauterizing the cuts of the cold cry of visible and hidden “severe weather”? Shall her beloved survive the war? Shall he still be “him” if he’ll be back to her? Shall she still be there to welcome him? Many a question are the thorny vademecum of this reading, for those were uncertain times when life and death were sides of the same coin called day.

Leave a Reply